Is your cat timid, and you’d like to make it more friendly and affectionate? It’s not easy to radically change a cat’s character, but it is possible to improve it. Today, we’ll be looking at the best strategies to make a cat more affectionate!
Why are cats mistrustful?
Cats are unpredictable animals – some prefer to stay in the house, while others love being out in the garden. Essentially, however, they are solitary and territorial predators, and this is why they can be a bit mistrustful of humans. In fact, cats always like to establish a hierarchy, and there is always a dominant cat in any group. This can happen more or less aggressively: from fixed, threatening stares, to actual cat fights. Sometimes, cats can also be afraid of humans if they have been scared or traumatised by them in the past.
How to win your cat’s trust
1. DON’T LOOK THEM STRAIGHT IN THE EYE. It’s best not to look a cat straight in the eye, especially if it’s a bit unsettled or tense, because the cat could interpret it as a sign of a challenge, or threat.
2. DON’T STROKE IT IF IT DOESN’T WANT YOU TO. When the cat comes near you, lean down slowly and stretch your hand out. Since the cat came to you, it will definitely enjoy a couple of strokes (chin, ears, cheeks and head). As soon as it decides to walk away, let it: never insist too much, or it could get upset and won’t come back for more.
3. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. One of the best ways to win a cat’s trust is to reward it with cat biscuits, tasty treats or toys whenever it does something right. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to give it a surprise.
4. FEED IT REGULARLY. Whether your cat is a housecat or a stray, if you want it to stay you will need to feed it regularly and take care of its primary needs. When you do this, the cat will see you as important, and will gradually learn to trust you.
5. NEVER RAISE YOUR VOICE AND LEAVE THEM FREE TO EXPLORE. When a timid cat comes indoors for the first time, it will be on high alert. Don’t scare it by raising your voice or telling it off if it jumps onto the sofa, or goes into a bedroom. Let it explore, at least until it has got used to the home, and make sure there is always a cushion or basket where it can go to hide.
With a little bit of care, you’ll manage to win Kitty over!